By Juliano Oliveira
Queensland universities impacted by COVID-19 will have access to a $150 million package in loans offered by the State Government.
In the wake of the pandemic, the educational sector is forecasting a more than $1 billion loss in 2020, up to 4,000 jobs could be at risk.
“Thousands of people right throughout regional Queensland rely on universities for a job. This package will help to keep all our universities open – safeguarding these jobs,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“We’re putting the funding on the table to give certainty to the thousands of staff who rely on this sector every day.
“Queensland’s universities from Cairns to the Gold Coast will be able to apply for loans.”
Ms Palaszczuk said that the funds will be recouped by the government through a repayment program over the next five years.
In 2019, there were close to 60,000 international Queensland university student enrolments, injecting close to $3billion into the local economy.
State Development Minister Kate Jones said the Universities Support Package was developed in consultation with Queensland’s vice-chancellors.
“Before COVID-19 international education was a rapidly-growing sector of our economy,” Ms Jones said.
“This industry – and the thousands of students who support it – is vital to Queensland’s economic recovery.”